WWE Raw Report
By: Todd Martin
Date: 09/12/11 from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
The Big News: CM Punk and HHH “shot” on each other.
Alberto Del Rio was in the ring to start the show. He said that he can take boos but he can’t take disrespect. Ricardo Rodriguez started to interject that nobody disrespects Del Rio but Del Rio yanked the microphone away from him. Del Rio said he’s the champion and nobody makes fun of him. He claimed to have taken Rey Mysterio out and forced Edge to retire.
Bret Hart came out to interrupt. Hart was tripping over his lines and words and seemed to get lost. He was really bad here. He basically said Del Rio is a bad champion and should face all challenges and be a true champion like he was. Del Rio responded that Hart looks like a homeless bum with a 1994 jacket and greasy hair, like one of those illegal Canadians he hires to clean his house. That was a funny line. Del Rio said he would make an example of Hart.
John Cena came out to defend Hart. He said Hart is a Hall of Famer and now Del Rio is showing courage with Hart when he is always cowering from Cena. Cena told Del Rio to party it up because he will only be WWE champion another six days. Del Rio suggested Cena vs. Rodriguez for Raw. Cena responded by suggesting Del Rio vs. Hart. Some face, throwing a 54-year-old stroke victim under the bus. John Laurinaitis came out and made Del Rio and Rodriguez vs. Cena and Hart.
John Morrison and Alex Riley beat Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. The heels worked over Morrison. Riley tagged in with a spine buster and STO. He went for an implant DDT which Swagger reversed into an ankle lock. Riley then sent Swagger into Ziggler and gave Swagger a neck breaker for the pin. Ziggler had the chance to make the save but chose not to. Ziggler and Swagger argued after. The crowd was dead for this.
Miz beat Kofi Kingston. Before the match, Miz and R. Truth ran down the HHH/CM Punk feud. At the end they made brief mention of their tag title match Sunday. They also did some terrible comedy. Truth said ninja please. Oh, the humor. Kingston hit dropkicks and a springboard crossbody. Miz hit a back breaker but Kingston countered the neck breaker into a backslide for two. Kingston went to the top but was crotched and Miz gave him a neck breaker off the top. Miz hit the skull crushing finale for the win. This was a good short match.
Backstage, Teddy Long announced Ziggler vs. Swagger vs. Riley vs. Morrison for the US title at Night of Champions. Vickie Guerrero was angry. Kelly Kelly was nearby and suggested Vickie be nicer in her lobbying. Vickie called Kelly a ditzy Barbie doll and said even she could beat Kelly. Teddy Long said they’d have the chance to find out.
Jerry Lawler and Sheamus beat David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty. Lawler argued with the heels before the match. They worked over Lawler briefly. Sheamus came in with clotheslines, a top rope shoulder block, and a Brogue kick on each man. He then gave McGillicutty the razor’s edge for the win. Apparently the angle is Lawler picks a different partner each week to beat Otunga and McGillicutty. This is one of those WWE programs where it’s more focused on how the people losing suck than how the people winning are good. Obviously, the opposite is much more productive.
Backstage, Ricardo Rodriguez was warming up and drinking something. He told Del Rio it was an aphrodisiac. I think this was intended as comedy. I don’t know.
John Cena and Bret Hart beat Alberto Del Rio and Ricardo Rodriguez. Del Rio ordered Rodriguez to start. Cena beat up Rodriguez a little and Rodriguez tagged Del Rio back in. Del Rio ran from Cena but then took over. Cena gained control and went for the FU but Rodriguez tried to stop Cena and tagged himself in. Cena hit shoulder blocks, the Cena slam, the five knuckle and the FU on Rodriguez. Del Rio left. Cena tagged in Hart, who applied the sharpshooter for the win.
Kelly Kelly beat Vickie Guerrero. Kelly spanked Vickie and gave her the stinkface. Ziggler and Swagger then got into an argument on the outside. Vickie was distracted and Kelly rolled her up for the win. So Vickie Guerrero can’t just lose without distraction? Beth Phoenix ran out but Kelly kicked her and left.
Mark Henry did a 30 second promo backstage that may have been the highlight of the show. He said that for 15 years he has been overlooked and given no respect. Henry said that has gotten him to this point where he can be world champion. He promised Orton will enter the hall of pain Sunday.
Cody Rhodes beat Randy Orton. Orton was working over Rhodes when Mark Henry came out on the ramp. That fool Orton just turned his back on Rhodes and left the ring. Rhodes of course gave him a high knee when he turned around. Rhodes took over for a bit. Orton made his comeback with the draping DDT but Henry walked up the steps. The moron Orton decided not to hit the RKO on Rhodes and instead turned his back to look at Henry on the steps. So Rhodes hit that idiot Orton with his face mask and gave him the roll of the dice for the win. After the match, Henry hit Orton with a chair.
It’s a shame this match was booked so terribly, because they’ve done a great job building up Henry. But it’s hard to get behind a brain damaged babyface who can’t concentrate on a match. It’s hard to take matches seriously when you’ve got two of those asinine distraction finishes in a row. And the title means jack shit when the champion gets pinned by a midcard guy the week of the pay-per-view. What makes it all the more infuriating is this is standard WWE PPV “build.” Hey, who am I to argue with success?
The final segment was a long insider argument between CM Punk and HHH. Punk opened by saying he respects HHH, particularly his firing of Kevin Nash. Didn’t you say last week you didn’t believe Nash was fired? Wasn’t the whole thing that you’re not stupid enough to fall for that? Punk said he knows HHH doesn’t like him and says things behind his back. Punk said that when he debuted in WWE HHH called him a pompous, undersized internet darling who couldn’t hang with HHH.
HHH responded that’s changed a little. Punk said that isn’t good enough. Punk said HHH and Vince McMahon share the same opinions and have let the business pass them by with the bodybuilder fetish for main eventers. HHH brought up Shawn Michaels, Mick Foley, Bret Hart and Rey Mysterio. HHH asked if Punk was using the size thing as an excuse for his own failures. He added that his opinion doesn’t matter, just the opinion of the fans. HHH said you just have to get the fans on your side. Punk retorted that if HHH is listening, where are Punk’s ice cream bars?
Punk said he has heard the brass ring speech plenty of times and heard it before his first WWE PPV in 2006. He said he was on DX’s team but the people in Philadelphia were chanting CM Punk. HHH looked down at his watch. HHH said he has been on pay-per-view, been in main events, held titles, and received lots of opportunities. He said maybe Punk should look in the mirror and recognize he might not be the best in the world.
HHH trumpeted Cena as a guy who came from nothing and built himself into the biggest star in the industry. HHH said sometimes he’s right and sometimes he’s wrong evaluating talent and basically said he didn’t see anything in Cena when he started. Punk implored HHH to listen to the people chanting his name. HHH said now they are chanting his name but last year they weren’t so much. Punk said he has earned everything by busting his ass. HHH said that was good and you don’t get handed anything in the wrestling business. He added that HHH has a warped internet philosophy.
HHH said their issue isn’t business but personal. HHH tried to keep it business but Punk made it personal. HHH said Sunday as a man, he is going to kick Punk’s ass. Punk responded that’s one more thing HHH is wrong about because Punk is the best in the world and will pin HHH. Punk said his quest for change won’t stop until HHH is no longer COO.
Punk said he had one more thing to say, and not as CM Punk to HHH but as Phil Brooks to Paul Levesque. At that point, Punk’s microphone went out. HHH’s microphone worked and he gave it to Punk, but that microphone went out as well when Punk started to speak. HHH then asked for a third microphone. He checked that it worked and gave it to Punk. Punk took the microphone but just hit HHH with it and did a crotch chop to close the show.
I didn’t care for this segment. It was way too inside, and brought up a bunch of things that are better left not said in front of the camera. Punk was framed as a whiner and a failure rather than a star, and his words ring hollow when things aren’t changing at all in spite of his words. Most of all, the segment just seemed aimed at a really narrow audience. When they started this Punk angle, I liked it because there were a lot broad stroke issues that people could relate to and understand. But as it has gone on, they’ve become narrower rather than becoming broader.
This was one of the worst Raws of the past few months. The writing of the show was just terrible. Up and down the show, the banter and comedy was god awful. The booking of the matches was bad. The pay-per-view build was counterproductive. And few of the performers were able to transcend the limitations of the material.